The selection of NBA games tonight is rather dull, but the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs is one that should grab everyone’s attention. The Thunder are currently on an eight game winning streak and have the best record in the entire league. The Spurs can lay claim to that title if they win tonight at home. The Thunder are 21-4 and the Spurs are 21-5; San Antonio will have more wins with a victory, giving them the best overall winning percentage in the league.
An interesting factor of this game is the fact that Gregg Popovich decided to rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in a surprising road win over the Golden State Warriors. Pop’s controversial benching of his star players gives them a chance to rest when big games like this fall on the second night of a back-to-back. I do not see anything wrong with this, and those players deserve a few nights off after everything they have done for their organization. Still, it is a gamble; missing a game could prove to be a distraction if the Spurs fail to find their rhythm tonight against OKC.
I love these games in San Antonio because the Thunder always seems to have a little extra swagger. Some of the Thunder’s biggest plays and most monstrous throw-downs have come against the Spurs. Durant and Westbrook will take control of this game as they need to. It may be a little tough for Jeremy Lamb to get things going against these savvy veterans. He has failed to get into double-digits in a few recent games.
I would expect big things from Reggie Jackson as everyone should. He has been outstanding lately, and his name is rising in the ranks for Sixth Man of the Year. He is just coming off one of his best games in the Thunder’s home win against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. Serge Ibaka had one of the more unproductive games of the season that night. His numbers tonight should be closer to his season averages of 14 points and nine rebounds per game.
Westbrook will be the biggest factor in tonight’s game. Not only will he have to be effective on the offensive end but the defensive end as well. He will have to make Parker uncomfortable on both ends of the floor — something he is more than capable of doing. Westbrook may not admit it, but I can see that he loves going head-to-head with Parker — a point-guard that any player should admire and aspire to be like. They have very different attitudes and styles of play. It always makes for a very interesting battle, and I am not going to miss it for the world.
The Thunder are red hot, and will I think they are going to walk into San Antonio and hand the home team a loss. If the Thunder can find a way to click on all cylinders then I do not see why they can’t control this game from start to finish en route to a double-digit victory while improving their winning-streak to nine games. The Spurs have a lot to handle, and they will have to play a flawless 48 minutes of basketball if they are going to stop OKC. It’ll be a great game, but in the end the Thunder will reign supreme.